Professional paint color selection
How do the pros evaluate and select paint colors for their client's We'll explore the thought-process behind this important home design decision.
Painting is the most cost-effective way to enhance your home’s curb appeal and protect the exterior, so it’s worth your while to do it right. No matter how much time you spend choosing the perfect entryway, you want your home to make an excellent first impression.
Painting the exterior of a house can seem daunting. It’s not something you can do yourself over the weekend, and it’s a far more permanent choice than the color of a powder room or hallway. But while it takes more effort, a pristine painted exterior will pay off in good looks and help with curb appeal when it comes time to sell.
Choosing an exterior paint color can depend on several factors, including the location, the house’s architecture, and the rules of the local historical organizations or property owners’ associations. If you’re in an urban or suburban area, you’ll want to keep neighboring properties in mind—or risk drama at the next block party. Some neighborhoods have approved exterior colors, particularly private or landmarked communities, so double-check any restrictions before you pull out the ladder. If you’re lucky enough to be secluded—with no neighbors to second guess your color choices—consider trying something bold.
A home’s architectural style is another important consideration. The pale pink of a Bahamian villa might look out of place on a shingle-style or modern A-frame. Take your cues from the landscape for an exterior perfectly harmonious with its surroundings. And don’t forget details like shutters, front doors, and window mullions. These elements can add personality to an otherwise traditional exterior and make your house stand out.
Painting the exterior of your house is a significant undertaking. The most common dilemma is how to choose the right colors. But there are other important questions to consider. Should you try your hand with a brush? What do you need to know about proper preparation? Is priming necessary? Understanding the dos and don’ts will lead to a successful exterior paint job.
Identify your color palette. Consider the materials on your house, such as roofing, brick, stone, or stucco. Earthy tones complement stone materials, while cooler shades coordinate well with wood finishes. Consider playing up architectural details. A house with vertical and horizontal siding could be painted in two tones. Or, for a neutral home, coat doors, trim, and window mullions with bold colors. Think about your environment. Are you in a wooded area or out in the open?
I read an article the other day that 78% of Americans live in homes, apartments, or condos with white walls. I have nothing against white. It does go well with just about anything and clashes with nothing.
I’ve painted many white walls for clients in my years of painting, and I have some in my home. But if those walls are white simply because you aren’t sure what other color to use, perhaps now you can give it another look. As a painting contractor, the most common question I hear from clients is, “What color should I choose?” It is a decision that clients will have to live with for a long time. Many people struggle with making color decisions.
Color combinations that appear pleasing are in harmony or agreement with each other. Colors that do not agree with each other, or that clash, are not in connection.
I always start with the primary color—the color of the walls. What will your wall color be? What colors are other homes in your neighborhood painted? Do you like these colors? Look at the clothes inside your closet. Seriously! Your wardrobe may tell you about your color preference because color associations are very personal.
Some colors are already established for you, such as the color of your roof, shrubbery, and buildings next door. Your color selection does not need to be wholly determined by those other colors but should not clash with them. Likewise, the color of your furnishings can guide you in selecting interior paint colors. Once again, your goal is to harmonize.
Once you have selected your primary color, you can apply easy rules and formulas to create a harmonious color scheme. One way to develop a balanced color palette is by using contrasting (lighter or darker) versions of your primary color. Another way to add color to your scheme is by using a complementary color found with the help of a color wheel.
A color wheel is a tool that can be used to help you think about color. It is a circle of colors represented in the color spectrum.The basic color wheel is laid out so that the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) are divided by secondary colors (orange, green, and violet). Complementary colors are direct opposites and lie directly opposite on the color wheel.